I do actually feel this school just might excel at developing persistence, grit and determination in it's students, although, I feel guidance in an appropriate direction is severely lacking. With the leadership disorganization a student will quickly learn nobody is on their side and if they want help they must learn to help themselves by whatever means capable. Sadly, this would primarily apply to negative student behavior in an effort to get what they want in an educational environment lacking structure and supervision. On the other hand, if you have a child who is unaffected by difficult peers, disorganized leadership, and the proper examples are being set at home I do believe such a child will gain superior experience in persistence, grit, and determination compared to most peers.
Absolutely not. Inconsistent leadership, inconsistent rules, inconsistent discipline, combined with the fact, that in my experience, an adult is very rarely an eye wittiness of issues regarding disrespect. I believe the opposite is encouraged due to the lying of students in an effort to avoid getting in trouble or defend their friends.
Unstable leadership with a revolving door for principals and teachers alike. If I may be frank here, the outcome of student disciplinary problems is clearly biased. If the student your child has a problem with is on an IEP for behavior problems due to a disability. Your child will be receive some sort of discipline which does not appear to follow increasing steps of severity, whereas, the other student will simply be removed from the class setting back to a small class setting where an entirely different set of disciplinary standards are allowed. When you are called in to speak with the school regarding the issue the story is generally one of the students started it and the other reacted incorrectly but which one did what exactly is usually unknown (how convenient). In my experience, arguments, fights, injuries, bullying, etc. are rarely witnessed by an adult and this creates a huge flaw in fostering honesty, integrity, and fairness regarding students, in my opinion.
I believe this school is so distracted by their efforts to maintain classroom control and still manage to teach students effectively that matter in which disciplinary issues are handled are done so in such a rushed manner that compassion, caring and empathy slip through their grasp entirely. However, I also am of the belief that all aspects of these questions I am asking begin with the proper example being set at home.
Just as in every school there are great teachers, as well as, those who are not so great. I do not believe it would be fair to lump them into one group so as a whole I would say "somewhat effective". Although, in my experience alone I would say "very ineffective".
This school overall does not give homework at all unless a parent insists and is persistent enough to physically appear to pick up the requested homework. However, there are a number of older, highly experienced teachers who did give homework but not a single one of them that I am aware of remained teaching at Orvis as of last year.
We have had a total of seven years experience, having children at Orvis Risner. During our time here we have seen four principals and countless teachers come and go, most for good reason but sadly also many of their most experienced, dedicated, and successful teachers have chosen to depart from Orvis Risner. New programs have come and go and some have reappeared under various names. While the written school policies remain consistent this is not generally apparent in regards to the actions taken by school officials from a parent's perspective. I believe this inconsistency is due to the high turnover rate of principals and teachers, consistency requires stable leadership. There is a small group of parents who are extremely involved in the PTA and their dedication is priceless. However, as a parent who once wanted to become extremely involved in the PTA at Orvis I must admit this parent group is run as an exclusive club and is difficult to earn the respect of the other moms. In their defense I am certain this fact is due to the overwhelming abundance of parents who are less than vigilante when it comes to their children. There are a great number of students at Orvis who have little respect for adults, authority, and fellow students.
If your child is a leader and not easily swayed by the other students or distracted by lacking classroom control or rules that remain consistent year after year then your child will do just fine attending Orvis. One of our children excelled wonderfully every year but our other child has also had many new or inexperienced teachers, as well as, a group of unruly students who are leaders that consistently keep the school, parents, and their peers on their toes. The past five years this school has been a nightmare for my family.
We have had a total of six years experience as two of my boys progress through school. My oldest never had a single problem, got along well with students and teachers, made fantastic grades and friends. However, my youngest has had a nightmare experience for 3 out of the 4 years he has attended Orvis. Last year he tested on grade level, behaved in class, and there were zero problems. Every other year he has had a teacher either new to teaching, new to the district, or little experience with children in general. Orvis Risner is going on the fourth principal in five years. Parent/Teacher communication is seriously lacking and from my perspective teachers are afraid to discipline students for fear it may negatively impact their reputation as a good teacher. DICIPLINE is an enormous issue at this school. Furthermore, every year except that perfect 2nd grade year my student has complained about other students being loud, out of their seats, and the teacher being too busy to answer questions. Teachers must have control of their classroom first and foremost and I am in the process of transferring my child.
Orvis Risner is a wonderful school and i'm so happy my children attend the same elementary school i and my siblings did. My daughter just loves Orvis and is working hard to become SWAG student again. My son is in pre-k and has a lot of fun learning. I do wish that the communication between the school and parents was like it was last year though, cause it's declined greatly but my children's teachers to some degree let me know what's going on. The principal is very nice and is at every assembly that the children have and i always see and talk to her when i pick my kids up. She encourages the children to learn and be the best they can be in all areas of life.